Guy Noir
Saturday, December 4, 2004
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(THEME)

Sue Scott: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye. (MUSIC FADE) (GUY NOIR THEME)

Garrison Keillor: It was December and the snow was on the ground which brought back memories of old cases in my early career, like the December day years ago when I tracked down the evil Dr. Gnomon of the State Highway Department —

Tim Russell (EVIL SLAVIC): The salt that they put on the icy roads? I have put pepper in it and it will cause sneezing and cars sliding and bumping and crashing and that will be my excuse to build wider and wider highways!!! And cut down trees!!!! And rip down houses!!!! I am an engineer!!! I must build!!! (STING, BRIDGE)

GK: He was about to unleash his bulldozers on the old French Quarter of St. Paul, about to tear down the little bistros and cafes along Masqueray Avenue — (TR FRENCH: COMPLAINT) — but we changed his medications and he smoothed right out. That happened to a lot of the bad apples I used to have to deal with. The ultimate crime-fighter turned out to be pharmaceutical. And don't tell anybody I said this, but I sometimes sort of miss the old days—

SS (COLD): I got the drop on you, Noir. Turn around and turn around slowly. One false move and you're gonna be missing some of your favorite internal organs. (STING)

GK: Nina Selby, the madam of Cathedral Hill, with her snub-nosed .38—

SS: One word outta you, Noir, and you're gonna be in a meat locker hanging by your ankles, you hear me? (STING)

GK: They put her on a new drug called Pax Vobiscum and now she's a music teacher—

SS: Class? Watch me, please. Not too fast. One and two and...

CHILDREN: Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn king
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th' angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
(FADE INTO BRIDGE)

GK: It's a very civilized city, St. Paul, and everywhere I go I run into people with a history of crime—the waiter in the restaurant—

TR: Our entrée tonight is a poached salmon and that's going to come on a bed of wild rice cooked in a persimmon broth with a compote of sun-dried cauliflower.—

GK: That guy used to be a numbers runner for the Raymond Como gang.

TR (TOUGHER): Our entrée tonight is going to be a perforated private eye named Noir unless you come across with the cauliflower, ya big stoopid. (BRIDGE)

GK: All he needed was a simple brain relaxant and he turns into a classy guy pouring Pinot Noir — that's what happened to crime in St. Paul. And nowadays, what do I get? Calls from people who need help shopping—

SS (ON PHONE): I'm desperate, Mr. Noir. I have no idea what to give him. None.

GK: But you've been married to the man for twenty years, ma'am.

SS (ON PHONE): And I've given him everything he needs.

GK: What about what he wants?

SS (ON PHONE): I have no idea what you're talking about.

GK: What does your husband enjoy?

SS (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir — enjoyment and LeRoy are two ideas that just don't go together.

GK: Maybe you could give him a gift certificate for a weekend for one up at Lake Mille Lacs.

SS (ON PHONE): Why Mille Lacs?

GK: It's a sort of religious retreat. Guys go into a little house on the ice and they hold a line running through a hole into the water and they sort of reconnect with the cosmos, you know? (BRIDGE) I thought of Mille Lacs because that's where Sugar and I used to go, back when we were an item. Sugar called me this week, or I thought she did — as it turned out, it was an old answering machine message that I forgot I hadn't erased — so I played it and got all excited—

SS (SUGAR, ON TAPE): Hi, lover boy. It's me, your little piece of cheesecake. I just called to say I crave your body, handsome, and I'm coming over there and break your door down. (BEEP)

GK: I spritzed myself with a little cologne (SPRITZES) and sat there perspiring lightly and then I heard the knock on the door (KNOCKS) and I put a rose in my teeth ...Yeah. Come on in, sweetheart. (DOOR OPEN) The door's unlocked. Oh, hi.

TR (BROKAW): Sweetheart?

GK: Sorry.

TR (BROKAW): Didn't know you felt that way about me. Honey.

GK: I thought it was somebody else. You— your face is so familiar.

TR (BROKAW): This is Tom Brokaw with the NBC Evening News.

GK: Oh right. Of course. I heard that you retired. Congratulations.

TR (BROKAW): Had to quit because I was having trouble saying my L's and R's.

GK: You sort of gulp on the L, I see.

TR (BROKAW): Having a hard time saying reality. — Reality. — Reality.

GK: That's not bad.

TR (BROKAW): And then the other day there was breaking news about parallelograms. Boy, that was a lollapalooza. Parallelograms.

GK: What was the news item?

TR (BROKAW): The administration has made them into rectangles. Did I say that right?

GK: Rectangles.

TR (BROKAW): Rectangles. — Rectangles.

GK: You know, they have medications for that.

TR (BROKAW): Really?

GK: Really.

TR (BROKAW): That could save my career. Otherwise, they're sending me to Kuala Lumpur. (KNOCKS ON DOOR) Who's that?

GK: I have no idea. Come on in, the door's un—(HAND CLAPPED OVER HIS MOUTH)

TR (BROKAW): Not so fast. There's a woman named Lola after me—

(KNOCKS)

GK: Who?

TR (BROKAW): Lola Rizzoli. I'll explain later. (KNOCKS) Wrong office!!! This is the lawyer's!!!! Go away!!!! — (OFF) I'll hide over here— (FOOTSTEPS) — here in your coat closet. (DOOR OPEN) Not a word, okay? (DOOR CLOSE)

GK: Okay. Right. (KNOCKS) (FOOTSTEPS) Yeah. Come on in. (DOOR OPEN)

TR (BROKAW): Wrong door! That's me!

GK: Sorry. (DOOR CLOSE) Come on in! (DOOR OPEN)

Tom Keith: Hi. Your name Noir? Guy Noir?

GK: Who wants to know?

TK: That's for me to know and you to find out.

GK: What can I do for you?

TK: I need some dope about somebody. Where she goes, who she goes with, what she does, and where she goes after that, if she goes back where she was before or someplace else and who she talks with, and what she says, and what they say about her after she's gone, I want to know everything. But mainly I want to know her name.

GK: You want to know her name?

TK: She told me her name once and I forgot it.

GK: Why don't you ask her to tell you again?

TK: I don't want her to think that I'm the sort of guy who would forget a thing like that.

GK: I see. How about you start talking about driver's licenses and how ugly the pictures are and how you can't stand yours and then you say, "But I'll bet you take a real good picture, let me see yours," huh? How about that?

TK: Can't do that.

GK: No?

TK: She's kind of ugly. So her picture probably is going to be too.

GK: Oh. Okay. Well, how about this? You start talking about handwriting and you say, "You know something? I have always admired your signature. You sign your name nicer than anybody, it's so elegant — let me see your autograph." And you hand her a pen and paper.

TK: Good idea.

GK: Okay. Try it.

TK: How much I owe you?

GK: Nothing. Forget it. (KNOCKS ON DOOR)

TK: Oh no. Who is it?

GK: I don't know. (KNOCKS)

TK: It might be the cops.

GK: I don't think so.

TK: I can't take a chance— I'm in a tight spot right now— where I can hide? How about in here? (DOOR OPEN) Oh. Hi. You a cop?

TR (BROKAW): I'm a journalist.

TK: A what?

TR (BROKAW): Journalist.

TK: You turned your wrist?

TR (BROKAW): I'm a journalist. TV journalist. Reporter.

TK: Oh. Okay. Sorry. (DOOR CLOSE) How about in this closet here? (FOOTSTEPS)

GK: I wouldn't try that closet there— (DOOR OPENS. AVALANCHE OF JUNK) That's why I said don't try that closet there—

TK: I'll go out on the window ledge then. (FOOTSTEPS. OPEN WINDOW WITH GREAT EFFORT, SQUEAKS. PIGEONS) Outta my way. (PIGEON FLURRY) (WINDOW CLOSE) (KNOCKS)

GK: Come on in— the door's unlocked— (DOOR OPEN, FOOTSTEPS) (DOOR CLOSE) She was tall and beautiful, sort of goddess like, with long blonde hair and Ingrid Bergman eyes. She wore a ski sweater that made me feel that I could ski if I needed to and black slacks so tight you could tell she had a pulse if you looked closely which I did and then I almost didn't have a pulse myself.

SS: Mr. Noir? My name is Ingrid. Ingrid Bergquist.

GK: Close enough.

SS: What?

GK: Nothing. Just thinking.

SS: I'm the mother of a little girl who's supposed to be singing in her school Christmas concert in exactly forty-five minutes.

GK: And?

SS: The school cancelled it because the music director went berserk.

GK: Is her name Nina Selby by any chance?

SS: How did you know?

GK: Is she an extremely calm woman?

SS: Normally, yes. But today she came to school with a .38 snub-nose revolver tucked into her belt.

GK: And then?

SS: They called the cops and she barricaded herself in the office and so the concert's been cancelled and my daughter is heartbroken. She's in the car, sobbing her little eyes out.

(FOOTSTEPS. OPEN WINDOW)

GK: Get off the ledge—

TK: Is it the cops?

GK: No. Get in here. (PIGEONS) (FOOTSTEPS) (DOOR OPEN) Mr. Brokaw— I've got a story for you.

TR (BROKAW): It isn't in Kuala Lumpur, is it?

GK: Minneapolis. Let's go. (BRIDGE) (SIREN) We drove over to Minneapolis to Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin Academy and (FOOTSTEPS) headed for the office and found a SWAT team in the hallway (COP VOICES) and they pointed down the hall to where the woman was behind a barricade made of desks and computers—

SS (OFF): Come and get me, coppers!!!! I got nothing to lose!!!! If I hear Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer one more time, I'm gonna — I don't know what—

GK: Miss Selby????

SS (OFF): Who is it?

GK: A friend, Miss Selby— listen to me. I know you feel bad. Everybody gets these desperate feelings at Christmas. But I'm going to toss a bottle of pills to you and I want you to take two of them, okay?

SS: Is this a trick, copper?

GK: I'm not a cop, I'm a friend, and these are your medications, Miss Selby. Pax Vobiscum— remember?

SS: All I remember is that they were singing "Little Drummer Boy" and something in me snapped.

GK: It could happen to anyone. I'm going to toss you the pills now, okay? Here they are. (PILL BOTTLE ROLLING ON FLOOR) Easy, boys. Don't do anything. Let her grab the pills. There she goes. Easy, boys. — Take your pills, Miss Selby. Take your pills. (BRIDGE) We waited a few minutes and walked up the hall and she'd taken her pills, and she was smiling, staring into space —

SS (DAZED) : I'll have the grilled salmon. And more of this Pinot Noir.

TR (BROKAW): What are we going to do, Noir?

GK: I'll tell you, Brokaw. You're going to put on this red dress and this blonde wig and go out there and be Miss Selby.

TR (BROKAW): Me? I'm not a choral director.

GK: Just use the think system, Mr. Brokaw. Please. For the kids. (BRIDGE) And so the veteran newscaster walked out on stage (FOOTSTEPS, AUDIENCE AMBIENCE) and stood there with the baton in his hand and looked the kids in the eye.

TK (KID): Who're you?

TR (BROKAW): This is Tom Brokaw, NBC News, and we're gonna do the program just like you kids rehearsed it. But if there's a chorus with a lot of La-la-la's in it, forget it.

SS (KID): But you don't know the music.

TR (BROKAW): You're right. But you do. So let's sing. Angels We Have Heard On High first, okay? Let's go—

CHILDREN: Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord the newborn King
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

(ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD, ONE VERSE, AND FADE INTO THEME)

(THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that keeps its secrets, and there on the twelfth floor of the Acme Building is a guy still trying to figure it out, Guy Noir, Private Eye (MUSIC OUT)

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